Charlie Clark named Brandon Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year Award.
Maybe not your typical story of a guy starting a small insurance business and then some 30 years later having a tech business with over 100 employees and growing by the minute. But in fact this is what Charlie Clark has done.
Thursday night at the Keystone Centre Charlie was presented with Business Person of the Year and feeling a bit humbled by the experience is how he would describe it best.
To get from Point A to Z the timeline of Charlie Clark is an interesting one. In the early 80’s he had an insurance business and with the assistance of his brother he helped Charlie write code to streamline his business. “The computer had 2 floppy drives and a green screen monitor and the cost was $10,095.00”. He admits “ I had no idea to even how to turn the things on” However the code that he and his brother had written helped double sales. Progression started towards technology in his life as he then assisted Computerland on Rosser Ave. Then moving from the kitchen table to an office on 356 – 10th Street is where Microage was born. The premise was to assist small and large business with memory upgrades and overall computer hardware and software assistance. The business model continued to expand and then they had to step up and move to Princess Ave.
Former location of Microage on Princess Ave.
The year was 1994 and Compusmart is where Charlie felt the computer business was booming. Charlie said” people would buy a $5000.00 computer and I would make 30 percent margin….. 9 years later the average sale was $1500.00 with a 10% margin” Bidding on Gov’t jobs was cat and mouse “ we would bid below our cost to hopefully get the job because by the time we got the job the prices would have come down and we could still make some profit”. In 1997 Charlie sold his shares in Compusmart and then started Infometrics.
Compusmart on Rosser in the early 2000's
“ I didn’t understand why people were really paying 5000 dollars for a computer without having Internet access or availability” So in 2004 it was the turning point without a question as he purchased what is called SPECTRUM. The best way to explain it is like a radio station used 94.3 to broadcast their signal to the public. However after winning the auction for the spectrum he went to his wife Laurel and now current GM and business partner Tami – Rae Rourke Clements office and said "HEY I NEED A CHEQUE. We couldn’t use or sell the spectrum until 2008. So needless to say a gamble at the time that has seen huge rewards. “ We have purchased much more spectrum over the years and will continue to acquire more because it is like land they don’t make it any more”
Future is bright as NetSet has 150 towers in Manitoba and another 45 being added as we speak. Charlie’s father thought he was crazy moving to their current location on Douglas with 10,000 square feet. Charlie said “ my father said we would never use the space and now today we are moving to a new building with 20,000 square feet. NetSet is expanding dealers in Manitoba and their offices in Winnipeg and Eastern Manitoba.
Current location on Douglas
A huge asset for Charlie was the day he hire